The EC card is becoming obsolete: what bank customers now have to adapt to

But there are also downsides. Visa and Mastercard have a very high market power. This allows them to charge very high transaction fees. For retailers, the fees are sometimes up to four times higher than with the Girocard.

Consumer advocates are therefore calling for a European system to counterbalance the US providers. However, the work on it is apparently difficult and the first financial institutions such as Commerzbank are already withdrawing. In addition, a statutory cap on fees could be helpful.

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